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Backyard Caches of Weapons of Mass Destruction


Gregory J. Rummo

A report out of Baghdad claims that a captured Iraqi scientist has turned in plans to build a nuclear bomb. He allegedly told his captors that Saddam ordered him to bury the parts in his backyard until sanctions were lifted.

So that’s where all those weapons went—the backyards of Iraqi scientists. Who’d have thought to look there?

Critics of ABD (Anything Bush Does for those readers who haven’t been paying attention to these columns) have been carping about weapons of mass destruction, demanding that the Bush administration produce evidence for their existence since the 28-day war in Iraq ended. Why these same critics were willing to let Hans Blix conduct inspections until the Second Coming remains a mystery.

They’ve even gone so far as to accuse the president and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of being in cahoots to cook up the whole story, presumably so the US could dismember Iraq, seize its oil wells, and let Bush’s buddies in the Texas Oil Patch profit from the scheme.

Some are clamoring for the president’s impeachment.

I guess Bush and Blair had a second plan for how they’d convince the world that their allegations of Hussein’s stockpiles of WMD were just a figment of their imaginations when nothing was found.

If you envision stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction as something that would occupy the equivalent of a Wal-mart super store, you are badly mistaken.

Take anthrax for example. It doesn’t take much to kill a lot of people. The envelope of anthrax mailed to Tom Daschle’s office shortly after 9-11 contained enough spores to kill approximately 2 million people if properly dispersed.

Reports of Iraq’s stockpiles of anthrax ranged between 2,000-8,500 liters. Even if we pick the larger figure, 8,500 liters is equivalent to a little more than 2,000 gallons or 38-55 gallon drums. 38 drums would easily fit inside the back of a truck, or spread out in various backyard gardens in Iraq’s suburbs.

Iraq is a country the size of California. Images of needles in haystacks are suddenly coming to mind.

We’ve already found what appear to be mobile biological weapons factories. And those chemical suits—what were they being used for—masquerade parties?

Scientists reluctant to speak to UN Weapons Inspectors before Hussein was removed from power may still be reluctant to speak for the same reason. This man and his two sons were evil monsters with long tendrils. If still alive, they are now wounded animals and potentially dangerous, as the continued deaths of US and British troops testifies, despite the end of official combat operations for more than a month now.

I still have no doubt we will find convincing evidence for the existence of WMD even if we have to dig in the backyards of Iraqi scientists to find them.

But my real hope is that our action in Iraq has prevented the ultimate disaster—finding them in our own backyard.

Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Visit his website,

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